After falling 64-59 to Abilene Christian in Monday’s home opener, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton did not mince words.
“That was not a performance worthy of their commitment and support and what we’ve asked of them to come out and cheer for us,” Boynton said of the Cowboy fans in attendance, also taking responsibility for his role. “My apologies to our fans for what they had to watch tonight because that was not very good basketball by us.”
On Sunday afternoon, Oklahoma State has an opportunity for a better performance in front of the home crowd when they face Sam Houston State in Stillwater, Oklahoma, before heading to Brooklyn, New York, for the Legends Classic. The Bearkats are 1-1, with a win at Pacific and an overtime loss to Utah Valley.
Oklahoma State’s biggest struggle in its season opener came at the free-throw line, where the Cowboys converted on just 8 of 20 foul shots. Down three with 35.5 seconds left, Bryce Thompson had an opportunity to narrow Abilene Christian’s lead with two free throws. He missed both.
“You don’t want to start this way,” Thompson remarked postgame. “We have to be able to learn from this. It can’t be a reoccurring thing where we get off to a slow start and give a team confidence and then not stop it.”
Oklahoma State enters the matchup led by Thompson, who had 19 points against Abilene Christian. Mike Marsh also contributed with 13 points and nine rebounds in the season-opener.
Free throws also played a key role late in deciding the final outcome of Sam Houston State’s 79-73 overtime loss to Utah Valley on Thursday. Sam Houston State knotted the score at 73-73 with 44 seconds left in overtime but missed consecutive shots as Utah Valley converted on all six free throws, sealing its victory.
Sam Houston head coach Chris Mudge found positives despite the loss.
“These kinds of games are good for us. They will get us ready for Conference USA level play,” Mudge said after Thursday’s loss. “Our schedule is going to be one of the toughest mid-major schedules in the country. It is going to help us get ready. We had stretches that we played well and some we did not. Those are the areas we have to tighten up.”
Lamar Wilkerson leads the Bearkats with 17.5 points per game and is coming off a 20-point performance in the loss to Utah Valley.
Forward Davon Barnes averages 12.5 points per game for Sam Houston State.
–Field Level Media
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